Railway Strategies Issue 158

Page 1


Issue 158 2019



An unlikely hero has emerged as companies work with partners to keep up with the pace of change in the development of high speed rail


Prater delivers a full envelope package to London Waterloo


Eurostar celebrates anniversary with new green commitments

The importance of cellular connectivity on rail routes

Rebuild plans unveiled for an outdated station in Birmingham

Technology can deliver very different stations to the rail sector

TransPennine Express launches its fleet of ‘Nova’ trains

What could be involved in decarbonising the UK’s railways


Patent of the month – an innovation in driver safety

Editor you are Make sure ribed to still subsc ategies tr Railway S ailing by em tegies.co.uk aystra itor@railw

Chairman Andrew Schofield Managing Director Joe Woolsgrove Editor Libbie Hammond editor@railwaystrategies.co.uk Assistant Editor Will Daynes Staff Writer Vladi Nikolov Production Manager Fleur Daniels Art Editor David Howard Advertisement Designer Fiona Jolliffe Operations Director Philip Monument Operations Manager Natalie Griffiths Editorial Researchers Adam Blanch Mark Cowles Tarj Kaur-D’Silva Jeff Goldenberg Richard Saunders Advertisement Sales Mark Cawston Dave King Theresa McDonald Gary Silk Sam Surrell Web Sales James Whiteley web@schofieldpublishing.co.uk Administration/Office Manager Tracy Chynoweth studio@schofieldpubishing.co.uk


Get ready for

2020 H

ere we are in the final issue of Railway Strategies for 2019! We don’t feel much closer to Brexit, and the Election campaigns are well underway. Labour is promising to cut fares and re-nationalise the rails. The Tories have most recently (at time of writing) promised £4.2bn of new spending on local train, bus and tram services if they win the general election. The Lib Dems have promised more investment in these areas too – also stating they will freeze peak-time and season ticket fares for five years. What do you think about their plans – does rail feel like a pawn in a game of political one-upmanship? By the time our next issue is published, we shall know who is in charge, and whether they are going to fulfil the pledges they made. We may have even left the EU by then. 2020 promises to be a year to remember; if you’d like to be featured in Railway Strategies in the new decade, do get in touch. FOR SENIOR RAIL MANAGEMENT

Issue 158 2019



Social Media Abigail Blake


An unlikely hero has emerged as companies work with partners to keep up with the pace of change in the development of high speed rail

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Issue 156 2019 ISSN 1467-0395

Published by Schofield Publishing Cringleford Business Centre, Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich NR4 6AU, UK

@Rail_Strats Railway Strategies Magazine

Email: editor@railwaystrategies.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)1603 274 130

Prater delivers a full envelope package to London Waterloo


Eurostar celebrates anniversary with new green commitments

The importance of cellular connectivity on rail routes

Rebuild plans unveiled for an outdated station in Birmingham

Technology can deliver very different stations to the rail sector

TransPennine Express launches its fleet of ‘Nova’ trains

What could be involved in decarbonising the UK’s railways


Patent of the month – an innovation in driver safety

Railway Strategies as you want it

Railway Strategies is available by email as a digital magazine, or by post in print format. This means you can read the magazine in the format that is most convenient to you. To secure your supply of Railway Strategies in the format you require, contact our subscriptions manager Iain Kidd: i.kidd@schofieldpublishing.co.uk Railway Strategies website can be found at: www.railway-strategies.com, and we are on Twitter: @Rail_Strats No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or other) without prior written permission being obtained from the publisher. While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the editorial content at time of writing, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher.

©2019 Schofield Publishing Ltd 1




Features 4 Connectivity The importance of cellular connectivity on rail routes – rail operators must be prepared to upgrade their communications infrastructure ingo flomer 6 High speed rail High speed rail can change the world, but the increasing demands of the technology require sophisticated solutions such as new synthetic ester fluids barry menzies


8 Decarbonisation There has been a shift in focus to the development of solutions for decarbonising UK railways, including hydrogen and battery power PROFESSOR paul allen 12 Stations With passenger numbers growing and rail at the forefront of moving an increasing population, stations need to become smarter HITACHI 18 Digital tech Why the rail sector is embracing wireless technology and how valuable the solutions are in emergency situations such as a fire john newbury 23 Patent of the month Driver protection is a priority for innovators. Bombardier Transportation has applied for patent protection on a new partition wall to keep drivers safe NicolA Anderson

News 10 Rolling stock 11 Stations


16 Industry 20 Infrastructure 28 Conferences & exhibitions

Focus on:

24 Yapiray Specialising in solutions for turnkey rail system projects and with two decades of knowledge in railway engineering, YAPIRAY has established a position as the most important multifunctional rail systems company in Turkey, with a special expertise in the manufacture of concrete sleepers, pre-stressed concrete bearers and slab tracks 3


point Ingo Flomer discusses the importance of cellular connectivity on rail routes


ow many times have you had a call drop out on a train? How many times has the YouTube video you’re watching on your journey failed to load? Have you ever tried to email colleagues on your commute, only to find it sat in your outbox by the time you arrive at the office? Trying to use your mobile phone on board a train is notoriously difficult. Poor, unreliable connectivity has become a frequent part of train travel and is an unwelcome frustration for passengers. Consistent connectivity is an expectation of modern life. Whether we’re at home, work, or travelling between the two, we expect to be able to access cellular services anywhere, anytime.


Running behind Unfortunately, though, the UK’s rail network is still running behind when it comes to reliable network coverage, with call reliability below that achieved on roads and within cities. Other European countries face a similar dilemma. Most railway communications infrastructures were developed in the early nineties, designed with the communications standards of the time in-mind. The issue which faces Europe today is that this legacy technology trails a long way behind the current 4G coverage standards, and the 5G networks which are now being launched by operators. Rail communications systems need to be improved in order to deliver efficient communications for passengers,

Connectivity rail operators and for emergency services. According to a recent YouGov survey, only 33 per cent of rail commuters felt their mobile signal reception was good enough to allow them to connect to the internet, and almost a quarter rated their mobile service on-board as poor. For those using the train to travel to and from work, unreliable – or a complete lack of – mobile reception can hamper efforts to communicate with colleagues, send work emails or access files remotely; over half of passengers said they were prevented from doing these things due to poor connectivity. While some rail operators offer on-board Wi-Fi, this service can also be slow and unreliable, and does not meet the expectations and preferences of many rail users. The same survey reported that over half of commuters indicated a strong preference to connecting to the internet via their mobile provider compared to via a public Wi-Fi network. The UK government has recently announced that it will work with the industry, to ‘dramatically improve’ connectivity for passengers on all mainline rail routes by 2025. The commitment forms part of the government’s 5G strategy and follows the introduction of minimum standards for mobile connectivity on new franchises. For the UK to thrive in the digital age, it’s vital that this promise is fulfilled and an effective communications solution is found and implemented. This will not only ensure that passengers get the value and quality of onboard experience to justify ticket price rises and service disruptions, but also help boost productivity and support the UK’s digital economy.

“Connectivity could become a competitive differentiator for operators, helping them to attract more passengers Getting back on track To achieve the rail connectivity the UK needs, a similar approach to coverage must be taken as has been in builtup urban areas, with rail lines supported by a dedicated coverage system. For above-ground rail networks, strong signals are required within carriages to provide sufficient cellular coverage. Unfortunately, trains offer a less-thanideal environment for supporting cellular signal, with their metal roofs and multiple windows making signal loss a major challenge. However, digital solutions exist today which can address this problem for rail passengers, whilst also supporting GSM-R for track to train communications and signalling control, and the dedicated public safety

networks used by the emergency services, such as the 4G-based ESN in the UK. Digital on-board repeaters provide a homogenous signal, equalising the fluctuating signal from outside. The result is an improvement in signal received inside the train, and consistent signal strengths at reasonable levels. A solution such as this also involves a leakage cable and antenna placed on the roof of the train, rather than the window, where reception is far poorer due to the reflection of the glass. Rail operators have the power to greatly improve cellular on-board coverage, by investing in solutions which deliver consistent and reliable signal inside the train. Passengers will of course benefit, but there are significant gains for rail operators too. Reliable cellular overage which guarantees passengers’ ability to access the internet would allow operators and third parties to launch dedicated apps with real-time train updates, digital entertainment, click-and-collect on-board dining, and other value-added services. Connectivity could become a competitive differentiator for operators, helping them to attract more passengers. A more enjoyable onboard experience would, in turn, lead to repeat custom, boosting customer loyalty and retention. Our demand for connectivity is going nowhere. Connectivity is improving in cities, and transport networks must not be left behind. To meet the demands from passengers, rail operators must be prepared to upgrade their communications infrastructure. A better quality of experience for these passengers – which means no more dropped calls, buffering videos or stationary selfie uploads – will help boost customer satisfaction levels, which will be invaluable for a transport industry which has received poor press in recent years.

Ingo Flomer is CTO at Cobham Wireless, the global leader in the provision of advanced wireless coverage and mobile communications systems. It produces innovative, cost-effective solutions that address market requirements for improved connectivity, greater capacity and better quality of experience. Cobham Wireless’ intelligent digital Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), along with its advanced network validation tools for mobile and IP networks, help propel networks to the next generation. www.cobhamwireless.com




How something as unlikely as transformer dielectric fluid holds the potential to help introduce and extend high speed rail solutions around the world. By Barry Menzies


igh-speed rail can change the world. It can open up opportunities for places previously closed off from economic centres, revitalise cities and even protect the environment by providing a viable alternative to certain flight routes. China is a shining example. Since 2004 the development of its railway networks has taken place on a scale beyond anything that the world has seen before, hand-in-hand with economic expansion. China’s high-speed railway network is by far the longest in the world. By June 2018 it extended to 22 of the country’s 29 provinces, stood at a whopping 26,869 km (16,696 miles) in length and made up around 64 per cent of the world’s high-speed rail tracks. Further plans to increase this to 38,000 km by the early 2020s are well underway. China is also seeking to rebalance its growth geographically to encourage growth and enhance economic inclusion. After three decades of rapid development in its Eastern


Provinces, the development of the Central and Western Provinces then became a priority of the country’s policy makers, with improved connectivity crucial in doing so. For example, the less developed province of Guizhou was connected by rail to the advanced province of Guangdong, opening new opportunities for all. It’s not just the length of the infrastructure that has so staggered the world but its speed. Much of the new track is designed to support high speed rolling stock not dissimilar to the trains that we will see introduced on the UK’s new HS2 line when it opens in 2026. But while in China top speeds will regularly reach up to 350 km/h (217mph) and generally don’t run below 250 km/h, or 124 mph, HS2 won’t run above 320km/h, unless amendments are made to the current plans. A good example to illustrate the difference high speed rolling stock can make to a journey is to consider the commute between the two cities of Beijing and Xi’an, which is around 746 miles. This journey takes approximately two hours by air, 11 hours by car, and used

High Speed Rail to take anything from 11.5 hours to 17.5 hours by train. On the fastest ‘bullet train’, the journey now takes an incredible 4.5 hours. But China is only one example of this global phenomenon. From France’s long-established TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) to the planned California High-Speed Rail system, high-speed rail is capturing imaginations around the world. In order to implement such a fundamental shift in transport expectations, rolling stock manufacturers such as Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens are increasingly taking an ‘Apple’ style approach to technology development. Rather than modifying or maximising the potential of existing technologies, they are increasingly challenging and collaborating with partners to create new solutions and keep up with the unrelenting pace of change.

The unheralded hero It is within this context that a rather unlikely hero of modern transportation has emerged. Synthetic ester transformer fluid, such as the MIDEL brand manufactured and developed in the UK, is the lynch pin allowing this expedited advancement for high speed networks around the world. The physics is fairly simple, an electrified train takes its power from overhead power lines, via an on-board transformer. Faster trains need more power, more power means more heat generated through the transformer. Of course, more heat and strain on the transformer inevitably increases the risk of wear and tear, malfunction and the potential for on-board fires. Demand for electricity on trains has also soared in recent times in line with customer preference for ancillaries such as wi-fi, power sockets for laptops and phones, enhanced catering and lighting. This is particularly true as developing societies become more affluent and their travellers’ requirements more exacting. As a result, multiple transformers per carriage are now required where one per train was once enough. Electrical Multiple Units are now in common use around the world. Even in these cases, where many transformers are used and distributed throughout the rolling stock, a significant reduction in power would occur if even one of the transformers on the train were to fail, meaning a reduction in speed and acceleration. All these factors increase the need for light, adaptable, safe, reliable systems that remain stable and cool under considerable stresses. Until recently it was only possible to do so while trains travelled at speeds far slower than current high-speed fleets. This extra performance cannot come at the cost of extra weight or size, as this would likely impinge the efficiency of the train. So, solutions that keep the size of the transformers the same, or even smaller, while delivering gains in power output are what was required. Enter, MIDEL 7131 synthetic ester fluid.

What is it? Liquid-filled transformers use dielectric, insulating fluids, in order to regulate temperature, and therefore stability and reliability. These fluids can take many forms but as well as being excellent electrical insulators, such fluids also need good thermal conductivity in order to function. Up to now mineral oil has been the fluid of choice; however, this fluid has a fire point of around 160°C, which, given the operating temperatures of transformers when in use, means fire could occur if any leakage were to happen. Fortunately, there are alternatives. MIDEL synthetic ester fluid was developed specifically to be used as a transformer dielectric fluid. Its robust characteristics meant it was quickly adapted for use across many sectors and applications. Crucially, it has a very low pour point and proven oxidation stability, making it suitable for liquid operating temperatures between -56°C all the way through to extremely high ambient temperatures. In addition, its composition means that on top of vastly increased fire safety margins and stability, it is biodegradable. This gives a lower environmental impact in the event where the liquid is spilled or leaks from the train’s on-board transformer. In short, this means that operating at extremely high speeds, on tracks often elevated to navigate challenging terrain, across multiple fluctuations in power supply and load, now became possible.

The future’s future The use of this particular synthetic ester continues to grow in rolling stock around the world, from Europe, to the US, Russia and Asia. The fluid’s chemical composition continues to prompt and facilitate innovation in transformer manufacturers, who look to design and build smaller and slimmer transformers that can perform safely under fluctuating loads. Right now, it seems, the only thing slowing the uptake of MIDEL synthetic ester fluid is the imagination of the high-speed world around it.

Barry Menzies is Managing Director of MIDEL, the world’s leading brand of ester transformer fluids. Since the 1970s, MIDEL transformer fluids have been chosen by utilities and transformer manufacturers across the globe. MIDEL synthetic and natural ester fluids are acknowledged for their excellent fire safety and environmental protection properties, driving installation savings as well as mitigating transformer fire risk. Used in mainstream distribution and power transformers worldwide (MIDEL fluids are proven up to 433kV), MIDEL enables transformer manufacturers to develop innovative transformer designs for specific applications or locations. www.midel.com 7


greener Professor Paul Allen discusses decarbonising the UK’s railways


ith the UK Government seeking a national net carbon zero target by 2050, Rail Minister Jo Johnson challenged the rail industry to remove all diesel-only trains from the network by 2040. This set in motion a shift in rail sector focus to the development of solutions for decarbonising UK railways. It is accepted that to achieve this ambitious target, the Government must play its part in developing a viable, workable strategy, and levy funds to support a mix of substantive extension of cost effective continuous rail electrification, combined with appropriate deployment of emerging zero-carbon traction solutions such as hydrogen and battery power. At this juncture, it is worthy of note, that due to a low rolling resistance, rail vehicles inherently offer far lower specific energy consumption per t/km than their road vehicle counterparts, and hence beyond a focus on rail decarbonisation, the Government


should also seek to incentivise modal shift from road to rail – success on this front has the ability to return far greater carbon savings than rail decarbonisation alone1. Once again considering the topic of rail decarbonisation, key industry stakeholders including Network Rail, passenger and freight train operators and leasing companies, will be required to set out plans to deliver against future targets laid out by Government; not a trivial task when considering residual life and value of existing fleets, the costs of re-engineering, and the required investment in infrastructure for enabling works such as rapid battery charging and the supply and delivery of hydrogen across large parts of the network. The latest hydrogen powered train concepts are currently being targeted for services that would replace typical diesel multiple unit routes, with speeds less than 100mph and a maximum range of up to 600 miles. In such a configuration, a three car unit would essentially

Decarbonisation become a 2.5 car unit to accommodate hydrogen storage. The technology would sensibly be targeted at self-powered operation on suburban lines that are not prioritised for continuous electrification. Hydrogen trains with higher speed and range capabilities may be developed in the future, but the business case for the required larger hydrogen tenders is likely to prove a significant obstacle. Hydrogen and battery solutions can also be incorporated within hybrid vehicle concepts, thus helping to facilitate reduced cost, discrete electrification programmes, by allowing for relatively short hops ‘off the wire’ prior to re-joining an electrified route. In this mode of operation, current range limitations of battery technology can be mitigated as batteries are recharged whilst running under the wire. With such range limitations, opportunities for adopting battery-only, self-powered trains seem to be limited to non-electrified routes that offer short hop journeys, with operational headway for rapid charging at each end of the line. This mode of service is demonstrated by concepts such as the Class 230 battery vehicle running on rural lines between Bedford and Oxford. As battery technology improves in terms of speed and range limitations, then battery-only concepts may be able to compete with hydrogen fuelled counterparts. Freight and higher speed passenger services (greater than 100mph) that demand high traction power levels create a greater decarbonisation challenge; energy density and constraints on space imposed by a restrictive UK loading gauge, limit the application of fuelling and hybridisation options. Space constraints therefore place a focus on technology developments that can reduce the size of hybridisation hardware. For example, silicon carbide components in power electronics significantly increase electrical efficiency, reducing inverter drive sizes, thereby offering crucial benefits for packaging hybrid traction equipment in higher power applications. Such incremental developments that can reduce carbon emissions for existing diesel-based technology may need to be adopted to form a ‘stop-gap’ whilst new electrification programmes and technologies with higher energy and power densities emerge. The wider roll-out of green-grid rail electrification remains the most sensible and pragmatic option to decarbonise UK railways. When considering future electrification strategies, the UK’s Railway Industry Association (RIA) found that depending on the complexity of the geotechnical and engineering requirements, electrification could be achieved for between £0.75m and £1.5m per single track kilometre2. Realising such figures requires a strategic approach to electrification; a review of ‘lessons learnt’ and development of a long-term rolling investment programmes that encourage innovation and competitive pricing from suppliers, and retention of knowledge of how to electrify efficiently and cost effectively. From a strategic research and development

perspective, informed by the UK industry’s Decarbonisation Taskforce Report3, five key targets have been identified for inclusion in a five year research plan to help realise the 2050 net carbon zero ambition, and are to be included within a planned update to the national Rail Technical Strategy (RTS): • Freight and yellow plant decarbonisation, building on the current RSSB-led research project • Increasing the capabilities of battery and hydrogen, including through developing appropriate infrastructure and reducing whole system costs • Reducing the whole system cost of electrification, including through various forms of intermittent electrification • Increasing efficiency of both current and future rolling stock as well as infrastructure • Increasing the ability to model and measure system wide carbon emissions, arising from both operational and capital works Finally, as an example of how technology transfer from other sectors can offer potential interim solutions for the most challenging of decarbonisation problems, funded by RSSB’s decarbonisation research initiative, the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research is working with Artemis Intelligent Power and freight operator DRS, to reduce freight locomotive and yellow plant carbon emissions. The research project will examine the benefits offered by mechatronically controlled digital displacement pump technology as a more efficient alternative to conventional hydraulic pumps. Use of this technology, which was originally developed for the wind power and road plant sectors, has been proven to yield fuel savings of up to 20 per cent in providing traction and auxiliary power for rail applications.

Professor Paul Allen is Assistant Director of the Institute of Railway Research (IRR) at the University of Huddersfield. The IRR is an internationally leading research group that has been established for over 20 years and brings together some of the most highly skilled railway researchers in the UK. The IRR employs a team of 35 multi-disciplinary staff with capabilities including vehicle and track system dynamics, traction, braking and energy systems, pantograph and overhead line dynamics, advanced safety management, data analytics, asset condition monitoring and railway technology development. www.hud.ac.uk/irr

[1] Dept. for Transport, ‘Rail Freight Growth Market Review & Modal Shift Model Outline’, DfT-RFG&MS01, September 2016 [2] Rail Industry Decarbonisation Task Force, ‘Final Report to the Minister for Rail’, July 2019 [3] Railway Industry Association (RIA), ‘RIA Electrification Cost Challenge’, March 2019


Rolling stock New Novas for the North l In a ceremony at Liverpool’s Lime Street Station on 22nd November, TransPennine Express launched its new ‘Nova’ fleet of trains to an audience that included stakeholders and dignitaries from across the north, as well as the general public. Each new train features high quality seating and interiors with more luggage space, plug and USB charging points, free on-board wi-fi in both standard and first class and the entertainment system Exstream featuring the latest TV shows, news and films. Leo Goodwin, Managing Director of TransPennine Express, outlined the benefit the new fleet will bring to the north. He said: “Our vision was for Nova to represent the brightest future for rail in the north and we are so pleased to today make this vision a reality for customers, colleagues and businesses who make the TransPennine Express network such a crucial part of our infrastructure here in Liverpool and across the north.” The new 44-train fleet was built by CAF and Hitachi and financed by Beacon Rail Leasing, Eversholt Rail Group and Angel Trains. Each train offers between 286-342 seats and five carriages. Kevin Tribley, CEO at Angel Trains, added: “The introduction of the Nova 1 fleet

is a significant milestone which will see the Northern Powerhouse connected with new top-of-the-range trains. By investing in and developing trains that improve passenger experience between major cities across the North, we’re taking strides towards creating the railway of the future that modern Britain deserves. We are incredibly proud of our team and would like to thank our partners Hitachi and TransPennine Express for all their hard work in making this project a success.”

Updates on the DLR l Thales has signed two new contracts to support London’s Docklands Light Railway’s (DLR) rolling stock replacement programme, which will help deliver more frequent and reliable journeys in East London from 2023. The updates will improve the DLR’s exceptional operational performance, while maintaining the on-time train reliability rate of 99 per cent that it has historically delivered. Both contracts will run until September 2024. The first contract will be for the supply and integration of on board control systems for a new fleet of 43 trains TfL announced earlier this year. This contract is direct with the rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A (CAF). The second, with TfL, will be for DLR signalling system upgrades to the software sub systems that will also support the new trains. These upgrades will help to deliver increased capacity and reliability to east London passengers. More trains on the system will mean a higher level of service. In addition to working with the DLR, Thales is currently also modernising the London Underground. The 4LM project involves making signalling upgrades to the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.


Welcome to the fleet

David Brown

l One third of Northern’s fleet of brand new trains is now in service, with its £500m investment in 101 brand new trains now well on track. Thirty-three of the Class 195 and Class 331 trains are now operating on a number of routes, and the new trains feature free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, at-seat power and customer information/media screens with real-time information. They are also more spacious for customers and are fully accessible with spaces for wheelchairs and bikes. “The Northern network is busier than it has been for a generation – more than 100 million customer journeys will be made on Northern services in 2019 – and the introduction of new trains is at the heart of our transformation for customers. We are delighted, therefore, that even more customers travelling across the north are now served by brand new trains – more than one million customer journeys have already been made on the new trains,” said David Brown, Northern’s Managing Director.

Station News New passenger facilities opened l Monday 21st October saw new enhanced passenger facilities and platforms opened at the new North-West Transport Hub in Derry~Londonderry. The new facility, planned and delivered by Translink, is a £27m investment, with funding received from the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Additional funding has been provided by the Department for Infrastructure and the Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport in the Republic of Ireland, as well as support from Derry City and Strabane District Council. The North-West Transport Hub is located at the former Waterside Train Station, a Grade B-listed building which served as one of the city’s main stations for a century before closing in 1980. The building has been restored and repurposed for use as a 21st Century transport facility, and is intended to act as a gateway to the North-West region, as well as promoting active and sustainable travel, bringing together a wide range of transport modes and providing enhanced customer and staff facilities. The next phase of works, including the park and ride site, enhanced public realm and bus turning circle, will complete during the summer of 2020, which will mark the completion of the project.

Renovations unveiled

l After months of renovation work to the roof and southern concourse, Leeds Station has been unveiled, showcasing its glimmering gold concourse, light-flooding vision and human circadian rhythmic lighting, something that is a first for railways. Local Yorkshire design and engineering firm, TSP Projects worked with Network Rail to deliver architectural design and project management of this ambitious renovation programme for the southern concourse in less than one year. The work involved the reinvention of the late 1960s wooden roof and updates to the station entrance, Southern concourse retail space, ticket gateline and public WC facilities. New lighting and a gold entrance façade adds to the passenger experience, and all completed whilst the station remained open to the public 24/7. “The opportunity to transform Leeds Station was exciting and challenging for TSP Projects and our staff displayed passion and dedication to complete on time and to the highest standard. We are delighted to have the opportunity to deliver cutting edge improvements and a station lighting scheme that is unique in the UK,” commented Craig Scott, CEO, TSP Projects.

Proposed new look revealed l Plans for the rebuild of an outdated Birmingham railway station have been unveiled. As part of the wider regeneration of the area, Perry Barr railway station in Birmingham will be transformed into a welcoming, accessible and safe environment. It will feature new lighting, CCTV coverage, new accessible toilets, covered waiting areas, live travel information screens, lifts to the platforms and a drop-off area for taxis and disabled blue badge holders. The new building replaces the current underwhelming 1960s built station entrance squeezed between shops. There will also be improved pedestrian links to a redesigned bus interchange outside the One Stop Shopping Centre. A new access for buses only will ease congestion, speed up pick-up and dropping off for passengers and improve journey times, including those using the proposed new Sprint rapid bus transit service between Birmingham and Walsall. Development of the bus and rail interchange is due to take place as part of the wider £500 million regeneration of Perry Barr, which includes the Athletes Village, changes to the road network and introduction of Sprint rapid transit buses. These are all due to be completed in time for the Birmingham 2022

Commonwealth Games when around 6500 athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will be located at the Village and thousands of spectators will flock to the Alexander Stadium to watch the athletics and the official opening and closing ceremonies for the Games. The project is being led by the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Network Rail and West Midlands Trains.




Hitachi believes technology can deliver very different stations to the rail sector


n recent years, the UK’s iconic Victorian railway stations have been comprehensively restored and modernised to make them fit for today’s needs. This has involved a tremendous amount of work. When Brunel and our other railway pioneers first designed stations such as St Pancras, Paddington or York, they could have hardly anticipated the number of different routes they would serve, the number of services they would see, or the various facilities needed to enable modern rail travel. With passenger numbers doubling since the 1990s, more lines opening and thousands of new trains coming into service, the need for efficient stations has never been so pressing. This trend is only going one way, with the UK population set to hit 70m and more people choosing to live in our growing towns and cities. Whilst roads remain


congested, it is for rail to step up and connect people and places. To achieve this, we need to move to the next stage of renewal for our railway stations. Hitachi is working on this challenge through a range of global projects which aim to harness technology to make stations simpler and more efficient. We have unveiled our concept of the ‘station of the future’, powered by digital technology and artificial intelligence.

Removing the confusion from rail Our first task as an industry should be ensuring that rail travel is not confusing to the travelling public. This must start with ticketing. At the moment, research shows that only 25 per cent of passengers understand the correct fare types. In stations, ticket machines are often thronged with passengers confused by the myriad of


options available to them, when all they want is to find the cheapest fare. Based on our experience in markets such as Japan and China, where 50 million journeys a day are made using our ticketing solutions, Hitachi are proposing a revolutionary new system which would not require a paper ticket or smart card. Instead, passengers would download an app to their smart phone, which in turn would detected by smart sensors located at the entrance to platforms as well as on-board trains. These sensors would detect the app without the phone needing to be removed from a pocket, and register that passenger’s entry. At the end of the journey, the correct fare will be calculated for the passenger. This technology could transform stations, removing the need for physical ticket barriers and the bottleneck

queues they often cause. Passengers would be able to walk seamlessly through the station to a train, without encountering the stress of crowded ticket barriers or confusing ticket machines. This technology being developed by Hitachi has recently passed a proof of concept trial in Italy and could be rolled out in the UK soon.

A clean environment to work, shop and eat Once passengers have arrived at the station, we must ensure the environment is pleasant for both leisure and travel activities. Stations such as London St Pancras International have become a destination in their own right with world class restaurants, bars, shops and services all on hand. Yet in too many of the UK’s stations, passengers are faced with poor air quality, with platforms at one station recently identified as the 8th most polluted place in the country. We should ensure the air is clean


at stations, through further electrification, and by the introduction of battery powered trains to remove the need for diesel engines being used on platforms and on station approaches. Hitachi has had a battery-powered train running in Japan since 2016 and is working with rail operators to investigate this technology being brought to the UK. It is critical that the rail industry fully decarbonises, meeting its assertions that rail is the cleanest environmental means of travel, and helping the country meet its ambitious targets to achieve zero net carbon by 2050.

Simple and efficient stations So far, Hitachi’s vision has covered making life easier for passengers, and cleaning up the railway station environment. Now, we must make our stations simpler to navigate and more efficient for the growing number of people using them. Our vision of the station of the future harnesses digital and artificial intelligence technology. The concept station includes robots on-hand to show passengers how to find their train and other station amenities, and maybe even help them with their luggage. Hitachi first trialled the use of robotic technology


with the public at Tokyo Haneda Airport in 2017. The robot, called EMIEW3, had the ability to communicate in multiple languages. The robot’s ‘brain’ used artificial intelligence whilst communicating to a central computer system to gain information about the current situation at the airport. Real time information will personalise each customer experience, helping them navigate busy stations, including data being sent direct from the train to a passenger’s phone. This could include mobile apps to guide people to certain shops, restaurants or other points of interest, instead of using physical signs or annotations. This has the added benefit of being more accessible to people with visual or other impairments. Our human traffic flow systems can help to re-route passenger flow around stations if there is disruption or a sudden surge in crowds. Instead of what could feel like chaotic amounts of people walking in all directions, signs guiding people to certain platforms or exits can be updated with real time information. Our real-time human traffic technology can also inform station operators of where best to set up new shops or facilities, or which barriers should be used at certain times, further increasing efficiency and potentially revenue.


Ready for the UK Hitachi have a proud track record of bringing pioneering technology to the UK. Our Japanese bullet train inspired fleets are running across England, Scotland and Wales. By the end of 2022 we will have 319 trains running across the UK, with our Javelin fleet on High Speed 1 entering its tenth year of service. Hitachi’s wealth of experience in rail technology across the globe has shaped the design of our concept future station. With passenger numbers increasing and rail at the forefront of moving our growing population, stations will need to become digitalised, efficient and smart.

Hitachi will continue to innovate and develop the latest technology which before long will bring new life to our historic railway stations.

Hitachi Rail is a global transport specialist with over 100 years of experience building pioneering trains, offering quality maintenance and developing innovative new technology. As a leader in rail it is improving transport for passengers, connecting communities and helping to boost the UK’s economy. www.hitachirail.com 15


Take a moment

Help from the CATS l Greater Anglia is training up office staff to help customers when stations are busy due to big events or disruption. The support staff, known as Customer Action Teams – or CATs – make a beeline for their nearest station when needed to provide extra help and support to customers and station colleagues. Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, noted that when stations are busy, having extra people available to help can make all the difference. “It’s all part of our commitment to continually improving customers’ experience when they travel with us,” he added.

Going greener l Eurostar is celebrating its 25th anniversary with ambitious new commitments reinforcing its position as the most sustainable choice for short-haul European travel. On 14th Nov Eurostar ran its first ever plastic-free train between London and Paris. Eurostar has also been awarded the highest rating of three stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), which demands a very high standard of sustainability with ingredients that are seasonal, Fairtrade or organic, not air-freighted and sourced from farmers with high environmental and welfare standards. Finally, from 1st Jan 2020, Eurostar has pledged to plant a tree for every train service that it operates across its routes.

Rail programming l The Railway Industry Association (RIA) and ITN Productions Industry News have co-produced Rail Matters, a news and current affairs-style programme exploring the people and processes that are driving the rail system into the future. Rail Matters, anchored by national newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, OBE, features the ongoing vital improvements and enhancements being made to our network today and looks at the network’s plans to enable a more resilient railway of tomorrow. The programme can be seen on the RIA website: www.riagb.org.uk/RIA/ Newsroom/Rail_Matters.aspx


l Riding on the success it has seen in the aeronautical and maritime industries, Moment, a French company specialised in entertainment and digital passenger services for transport stakeholders, is now providing the rail sector with its advanced entertainment platform. With its agile digital solution, Moment provides railway companies with an innovative entertainment offer. Based on wireless technology and operating without

connectivity, the platform allows passengers to connect from their electronic devices, via browser or application, to a range of services. The implementation of such a solution on board trains enables railway companies to personalise their offering with a focus on value-added services allowing travellers to access content (films, series, music, travel information etc) in addition to enjoying offers proposed by the company. “With this new offering developed for the rail sector, we want to help railway companies meet the digital challenge and transform the perception of rail journeys,” says Tanguy Morel, CEO and co-founder of Moment. With its modular software, the technologically advanced entertainment platform can be easily adapted to the operator’s existing infrastructure. Moreover, it enables companies to develop a wide range of connected services and it is perfectly adapted to improve the on board passenger experience.

Rail Innovation Factory l Connected Places Catapult (CPC) and Network Rail have announced a strategic partnership focused on the development of innovative technology within the rail sector. The ‘Innovation Factory’ under which the agreement will take place is part of Network Rail’s five-year £357 million Research and Development (R&D) portfolio. Helen Wylde, Chief Engagement Officer at the CPC said: “There is significant appetite within Network Rail to increase the agility and pace of delivering innovation into the rail sector, which we are excited to support. New technologies and approaches are sweeping the transport industry and opening up an array of possibilities for improved operations on the rail network and end user experience. In our role as Innovation Partner we will be focused on creating an innovation pipeline that can make these possibilities a reality.” Martin Frobisher, Group director, Safety, Technical & Engineering at Network Rail added: “We are in a time of unprecedented opportunity from technology and the emergence and growth of new companies. The joint work from Network Rail’s R&D Portfolio and CPC on the Innovation Factory will help us make the most of this opportunity, driving innovation at pace and reaching out to a broader range of companies that will help us make a real difference to passengers and freight customers.”

Industry News TfWM wins top honour l Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has been named best in the UK for third time in four years after landing the main award at the transport industry’s equivalent to the Oscars. TfWM, which is the region’s transport authority, and which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), took home the City Region Transport Authority of the Year at the National Transport Awards in London. The award was in recognition of progress made in recent years through unprecedented investment in public transport infrastructure and increased passenger numbers on Metro, rail and bus. Also cited was the setting up of the Regional Transport Coordination Centre (RTCC), through which all transport operators and authorities covering the West Midlands work together to keep the network moving during major incidents and events. And TfWM’s work to the transform the way we travel through the cutting-edge Future Mobility Zone and 5G test bed initiatives, such as the development of connected and autonomous vehicle technology, was also highlighted. WMCA chief executive Deborah Cadman said: “TfWM has many achievements to be proud of which include an increase in passenger numbers on Metro, rail and bus. The projects which landed this award are helping to deliver a far bigger prize for the West Midlands, one of economic growth, more jobs and greater prosperity.”

Boost for rail R&D l The UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) is set to receive millions of pounds in investment from Network Rail to boost UK rail research and development. The Network Rail Research Framework agreement will see contracts signed with eight UKRRIN universities to bolster innovation in the sector. The research will focus on the UKRRIN key themes of digital systems, rolling stock and infrastructure. Funding will be spread across the University of Birmingham, University of Huddersfield, University of Southampton, Newcastle University, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, University of Sheffield and Heriot Watt University. These universities are already working in partnership with industry undertaking research and development work and innovation projects that are seeing new products and services being developed and brought to market. Professor Simon Iwnicki, Director at the Institute of Railway Research, University of Huddersfield added: “The framework agreements with Network Rail will give increased stability to the University teams which are supporting the UKRRIN network. Here at Huddersfield we are putting in place world class facilities to support the UKRRIN Rolling Stock Centre of Excellence and the commitment which Network Rail are demonstrating through the agreements will allow us to engage with them on a number of research projects aimed at improving the performance and reliability of the railway network.”

IN BRIEF Family friendly Heathrow Express, which provides the fastest route between Paddington Station and Heathrow Central, has been awarded the ‘Friendly WiFi’ safe certification, which proves its WiFi service is keeping passengers safe by filtering out inappropriate content throughout the train company’s 15-minute journey. Venues and locations displaying the Friendly WiFi symbol, have proven that their WiFi filters deny access to pornography and webpages known to host indecent images of children and advertisements or links to such content. The scheme is a government-initiated safe certification standard for public WiFi run by RDI (UK). Les Freer, Director of Heathrow Express said: “We are proud to be the first airport express service to be Friendly WiFi accredited which confirms our long history of safe and secure browsing. It’s important for our customers to stay connected, but it is equally important for them to enjoy a safe, comfortable browsing environment.”

Keeping staff safe Sheffield-based rail safety specialist, Zonegreen, is to supply its flagship technology to Metro operator, Nexus’, £8.4 million training facility, being constructed in South Shields. The firm has signed a contract with main contractors, Galliford Try, to install its Depot Personnel Protection System (DPPS) in the new state-of-the-art rail skills complex. Nexus Tyne and Wear Metro Maintenance and Renewals Centre is being built on the site of the original South Shields station. The skills centre will include a two-road maintenance shed that is to be protected by Zonegreen’s system. DPPS will guarantee the safety of personnel by restricting vehicle movements, via the installation of Network Rail approved derailers. Its advanced interlocking technology, which is being applied to gantry gates, will also ensure high level areas cannot be accessed whilst the overhead line is live.


Technology and


John Newbury looks at why the rail sector is embracing wireless technology and how valuable the solutions are in an emergency situation such as a fire


ccording to the Office of Rail & Road there are around 1.8 billion rail journeys taken in the UK every year. The busiest three stations, Waterloo, Victoria and Liverpool Street, have over 230 million entries and exits each year alone. The sheer number of commuters can present challenges for facility managers within rail companies, who have to maintain safety and efficiency. All this at a time when forecasts indicate more people will travel by rail. Railways have changed dramatically over the last few years and the pace of development is increasing all the time in an effort to cope with steep rises in passenger journeys. Without these technological advances, the rail network would have been placed under severe strain. As it is, they are helping save time and achieve cost savings as well as increase overall safety, security and well-being of the workforce and passengers. The investments made by companies have created the foundations for this rail digitisation. For example, Network Rail has equipped its workforce with over 25,000 iPad and iPhone iOS devices and, significantly, around 18,000 of these are used by its frontline


maintenance, operations safety and engineering teams. Staff can use the devices to access new technologies that create safer, more efficient workplaces. Suppliers are responding, too, by developing wireless technology, internet connectivity and apps that help the railway network in numerous, innovative ways. Many of these are in the area of repair and maintenance of buildings and other infrastructure, which are an essential foundation for keeping the operation working at optimum levels.

Facility manager benefits The best way of illustrating how technology is driving the next rail revolution is by referring to specific examples that support facilities management teams. The first is the benefits that have come about when it became possible to easily scale up wireless networks to any size of site, including large buildings and geographic areas. It enabled wireless connectivity to improve safety and efficiency across a wide range of rail infrastructure and assets. A step change then occurred by incorporating this

Digital tech wireless technology with cloud-based data capture, because it meant facility managers could implement a fully integrated fire, security and medical response system. Physically, the system comprises a network of call points linked to a base station. If just one of these call points is activated during a fire it sounds an alarm whilst instantly alerting the facilities team, allowing safe evacuation and deployment of rescue teams. For a medical alert or security breach, it enables responders to pinpoint exactly which call point is activated, providing pinpoint accuracy to the source of the emergency. These kinds of technology are supported by an app that can interpret and respond to the data received. In this scenario, the facilities management or H&S teams are able to receive real-time information regarding site emergencies, and instantly send customised alerts out to relevant site personnel. The technology is specifically developed for communicating fire, medical and other site emergencies to affected personnel both within depot buildings and other infrastructure assets. These can be wirelessly transmitted via any internet connected device (for example, fire alarm call points, security doors etc), whilst apps enable instant response decisions by management teams from any internet connected device. The technology can be integrated across the wider site, including the ability to alert emergency response teams when an intruder or unauthorised member of staff is detected opening a security door/gate on site, whilst it can equally be applied to lone worker situations, such as work being carried out underground, or working at height. In addition, security patrols can raise a medical alert via call points from remote areas of the site or utilise a ‘welfare check in’ functionality that requires personnel to send a signal every ten minutes verifying that they are ok. Data from these call points can be routinely collated through advances in Internet of Things (IoT), combined with cloud-based service applications. It can be stored, processed and transmitted via cloud technology applications to any nominated personnel, providing valuable information to facility managers or health and safety officers. Data and information are now regularly gathered on sites in this way, where it can be cloud-based and used by the people that require it, when, where and in whatever format is appropriate. The system can also be used to send an SMS alert to the facilities team if there is a fire, medical alert or breach of an entrance security barrier, indicating that there has been an unauthorised entry onto the facility.

On the right track Demand for rail travel shows no signs of abating and at current trends, the total number of journeys is forecast to reach three billion. The extra 1.3 million journeys per week will need to be accommodated within the existing network. Fortunately, enormous progress is being made in the

area of health and safety within the rail network, both for passengers and workers. Much of this has been driven by advances in wireless technology, which have had the effect of increasing visibility of everyone working in and around the rail estate. Combined with this has been the revolution in IoT (Internet of Things), predictive data analytics and advanced diagnostics, long used in other industries, which now allow management teams to optimise their operations.

John Newbury is Product Manager at Ramtech Electronics, the UK’s leading wireless systems technology specialist, delivering innovative safety and security solutions for leisure, construction, marine, rail and other industries. Ramtech developed the WES wireless fire alarm system, which has become recognised as the system of choice for the UK’s top 50 construction firms, due to its ease of use, system reliability and the highest level of third-party certification. The current WES system remains the only wireless fire alarm system for construction that fully complies with EN54 part 25. www.wesfire.com/products/hotspot/ 19

IN BRIEF New product launch l FDB Panel Fittings with sales partner DIRAK have launched a new slam latch for sliding doors and panels. These have been designed especially for the broad range of industry, light commercial and high-quality residential sliding doors that are widely used on specialist vehicles, caravans, motorhomes, railways, office cabinets, domestic light doors, cupboards and storage units. This new development in slam lock design offers convenience and reliability with oblong mounting holes which make it possible to use aluminium profiles of different profile widths and may also be used for adjustment. A sufficiently large rear grip makes it easy to open the door simply by pulling on the handle – the design makes it easy to close the door by sliding shut. Plus, lockable versions are optionally available keyed alike or keyed different.

Connected underground l Cobham Wireless, a provider of advanced wireless coverage and capacity delivery systems, has announced that its idDAS (intelligent digital Distributed Antenna System) is now providing 4G coverage in Berlin’s U-Bahn for subscribers of all three of Germany’s major mobile operators. This follows an initial deployment with Telefónica, the biggest telecom operator in Europe; which involved replacing legacy equipment with Cobham Wireless’ idDAS, and delivering 2G, 3G and 4G cellular coverage for passengers using Berlin’s historic underground rail route. The project has now been expanded, with the multi-operator, multi-frequency idDAS providing secure, reliable, high-bandwidth 4G cellular connectivity for subscribers of Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom. “We’ve been working with Telefónica for a number of years now to phase out old

of Germany’s ‘Big Three’ operators can all enjoy a better passenger experience, and access 4G data services. The benefits extend to other stakeholders involved too; the digital nature of idDAS means it’s straightforward to configure and to upgrade to 5G when commercial services are fully rolled out. “Connecting underground routes comes with its own set of unique challenges, including limited physical space to house hardware. However, the BTS hotel concept means we’ve been able to locate these outside of the U-Bahn in a separate technical room, from which capacity can be directed to the metro,” added Ingo. Upon completion, the system will cover the entire Berlin U-Bahn; one of the biggest metros in Europe. The wholly digital architecture is accompanied by Cobham Wireless’ Active Element Manager, a management, operations

equipment and deliver a much-needed upgrade to the U-Bahn – so phasing in both Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone was the logical next step,” said Ingo Flömer, CTO, Sales, Marketing and Business Development. “Now, subscribers

and support centre which facilitates system upgrades and network configuration changes. 4G coverage is currently available on almost half of the U-Bahn network, with other areas being phased in over the coming months.

Expanded connectivity l Following its acquisition of the Kathrein rail antenna portfolio in May, HUBER+SUHNER has introduced an expanded connectivity offering for customers in the railway market. “The Kathrein and HUBER+SUHNER railway antennas are a perfect marriage of complementary products,” said Daniel Montagnese, Product Manager Rail Antennas at HUBER+SUHNER. “The merged portfolio now covers all possible radio frequency (RF) service applications for railway needs. Combined with a complete offering across wire and cable, radio frequency and fiber optic technology, HUBER+SUHNER can now satisfy all connected mobility needs for the railway industry from electrical to fibre-optics.” Both HUBER+SUHNER and Kathrein have been innovation leaders in the railway antenna segment for a number of decades. The most recent development is a new SENCITY Rail rooftop antenna which is compatible with all global navigation satellite systems – GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, and GALILEO.


First phase l Morrison Utility Services (MUS), the UK’s largest dedicated utility service provider and part of M Group Services, is set to begin the enabling swept path works as part of the first phase of work of the Pic: Edinburgh Trams Edinburgh tram extension project. Peter Carolan, Executive Director, Morrison Utility Services, noted how delighted he was that the project has had final sign off from the Council. “During the ECI period, we have demonstrated our ability to work in a collaborative manner, offer real depth of experience in delivering large scale utility contracts and the ability to deploy innovation which will deliver tangible benefits to the successful delivery of the project,” he said. “As we move to the next phase of the project our goal will be to build on the strong relationships formed with our construction

partners and City of Edinburgh Council during the ECI period and deliver the project to the highest safety and delivery standards, while driving a positive customer experience.” Enabling works will start on Constitution Street with the main programme of work beginning in spring 2020. A joint venture between Farrans and Spanish-owned Sacyr and its subsidiary Neopul will deliver the £90m main works contract to design and construct the new route from York Place to Newhaven. Passenger services are timetabled to begin in Spring 2023.

Infrastructure News Lighting the way

l FUTURE Designs won the Industrial and Transport Lighting Project of the Year at the Lux Awards 2019 for its bespoke lighting solution, IKON, for Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

expertise FUTURE Designs created several bespoke products including the IKON uplighter luminaire. IKON is positioned on top of wayfinding totems; IKON EMERGENCY is positioned within the vertical faces of the totems helping to guide Crossrail passengers to safety; PLINTH is located within the deck area between individual escalators. All have been developed specifically for Crossrail addressing the technological difficulties presented with the design brief for this challenging environment. Leon Ellis, Technical Director, FUTURE Designs noted that the team was delighted

FUTURE Designs developed and manufactured IKON to deliver a bespoke 50,000 lumen uplight within this subterranean infrastructure. Renowned for its innovative and technical

to win this significant award. “This award recognises over three years of research and development by FUTURE Designs to take the original concept to functionality and reality,” he commented.

European standards in China l Beijing Metro Construction Administration Corporation Ltd has appointed Ricardo Certification to provide Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) services for the new metro line in the eastern side of the city. Beijing’s new Line 17 will offer a new north-south route through the city’s eastern districts, extending from Changping’s Future Science Park North station to Yizhuang Zhanqianqu South station in Tongzhou. The first section is planned to enter into operation in 2021. Ricardo is assessing the new Line 17 against European standards EN 50126, 50128 and 50129, and Ricardo Certification will be responsible for assuring the safety of passengers, staff and surrounding communities is accounted for during the construction, installation, testing and eventual commissioning of the new line.

Complex project completes l As part of the extensive upgrade of London Waterloo Station, specialist contractor Prater delivered a full envelope package to the infill connection between the main station and the redeveloped Waterloo International Terminal. With 99 million people using Waterloo station every year and that number projected to increase by 40 per cent by 2043, an extensive upgrade scheme was proposed to increase capacity and improve the customer experience. The scheme was delivered by the Wessex Capacity Alliance (WCA), a collaboration between Network Rail, Mott MacDonald, AECOM, Skanska and Colas Rail. A significant part of the work was converting the Waterloo International Terminal (WIT), the UK terminus for Eurostar services until 2007, for use by domestic train services. This included creating a covered infill section to connect the iconic London Waterloo Station with the equally recognisable and awardwinning international terminal. The Prater scope of works covered the construction of the infill section, which consisted of a bespoke curtain wall glazing system and Prater designed and fabricated glass louvres integrated into the façade to provide ventilation. Prater worked closely with the WCA professional team during the extended Pre-Contract Service Agreement period to ensure that the design would meet all the detailed project requirements. The Schüco FW 80+ XR façade system was selected and, in collaboration with Schüco, Prater developed a solution to enhance the system’s standard performance. Steel reinforcements were added to ensure the required level of blast resistance from both the outside and inside of the façade.

A further challenge for the project was the integration with the buildings that surrounded the new section on three sides. The cantilever steel structure of the WIT meant that the significant natural building movement had to be factored into the design, with tolerances carefully calculated and considered. This required close co-ordination with both the main contractor and structural steelwork provider. The Schüco façade system was fabricated by Prater at its Thurrock facility, and due to limited on-site storage facilities, all materials had to be delivered to site on a Just in Time (JIT) basis. Additionally, Prater built a full-sized prototype of a façade section to test the buildability of the solution and provide a demonstration of the completed aesthetics for the WCA professional team. Prater worked to a challenging timescale, starting on site in October 2018 and completing the work in time for the opening of the station in December 2018.


Rail Innovation

Nicola Anderson is a patent attorney at European intellectual property firm, Withers & Rogers. She advises innovators in the rail sector about how to protect their inventions.

Patent of the month Driver protection is a focus for innovators. By Nicola Anderson


ow many of us wanted to be an engine driver as a child? There is a thrill to think of having control of that much power and being responsible for getting so many people to where they need to be. We spend so much passive time on trains, wouldn’t it be nice to be allowed to take the controls, with the view straight ahead down the tracks? As I type it is Bonfire Night, and I am on the train from Wakefield to London. It is peak firework display time. The driver has the best view of the fireworks of any of us on the train. However, it is a view that he or she is required by necessity to enjoy alone. For while this is an important job, with the rewards of sights such as sunrises and early morning mists, it is also a solitary one. The driver is alone in the cab for what can be long stretches of time. He or she may even be the sole member of staff, on a driver-only train. This can leave the driver in a vulnerable position. It is not unknown for a driver, for example as has happened on the London Underground, to have his or her cab broken into by brawling passengers. The driver must be protected from such incidents, for their own safety and that of others on the train. In most types of emergency, it is of paramount importance to protect the driver, freeing them to take appropriate action. In the case of fire for example, he or she can take whatever action by directing and informing passengers. Improvements to driver safety are therefore of enduring interest. Bombardier Transportation has recently been granted a UK patent, GB2550852, to a blast-resistant partition wall designed to form the barrier between the driver’s cab and the passenger compartment of a train. This wall is intended to improve driver safety by providing a stronger partition between the driver’s cab and the passenger areas of a train. As well as being resistant to fire, the partition wall provides blast and missile resistance, which means it could be useful in a range of emergency situations. The main claim made in the published patent is that the wall partition has a framework with floor, side and roof sections, which is fastened to the car body.

Partition panels of a blast-resistant, missile-resistant and fire-resistant composite material are secured to the framework. This arrangement provides the advantage of transferring blast pressure loads on the partition panels to the car body, limiting damage to the partition, and helping to keep the driver’s cab intact. This is the broadest protection provided by the patent and appears to give a good range of protection. The claims of the patent application underwent significant amendment whilst the patent application was pending, due to a number of relevant prior art documents being cited. This gives an indication that similar types of strengthened partition walls between the driver’s cab and the passenger compartment are already known, including the idea of a fire-resistant, blast-resistant and missile-resistant partition. In order for the patent to be granted, the claims had to be narrowed to include the structure of the framework and demonstrating that this aspect of the invention makes it new and inventive. As well as providing a monopoly in the UK for the partition wall, the UK patent means that profits earned from the sale of a car fitted with the partition wall will be eligible for corporation tax relief under the Government’s Patent Box scheme. In addition to the granted UK patent, Bombardier Transportation is seeking patent protection further afield, with a pending European patent application.




With two decades of knowledge in railway engineering,YAPIRAY has established a position as the most important multifunctional rail systems company in Turkey Above Working on Marmaray, a 76.6 km long commuter rail line in Istanbul, Turkey

Above Volkan Okur Yilmaz, General Manager at YAPIRAY



pecialising in solutions for turnkey rail system projects, the maintenance and repair of current lines, and high-engineering designs, YAPIRAY is also an expert in the manufacture of concrete sleepers, pre-stressed concrete bearers and slab tracks, with its own brand RAYTON. When it comes to the production of sleepers and slab tracks, YAPIRAY focuses on offering what Volkan Okur Yilmaz, General Manager, described as a ‘mobile’ solution. “This is so that we can produce these elements next to the construction site, minimising the logistics costs for our clients,” he explained. “Our production units can be mobilised in three to five months to anywhere in the world. Depending on the total quantity, our heavy concrete products can then be produced on-site, saving clients the high cost of transportation. Additionally, as we specialise in railway trackwork construction, we are very aware of contractor needs onsite, so we can assist in solving any technical problems about the cross-section of track - not only sleeper or slab track solutions. These activities are all executed by our in-house teams. “Indeed, our Design and Technology Department, Project Management Office, Machinery Department and Production Department all work very closely together,

and this means that we can provide customised solutions for each and every sort of railway project, even if they have several different requirements. This well-managed interface between departments is really beneficial in the development of products.” The concrete products manufactured by YAPIRAY are known for their high level of quality and long service life, and Volkan noted that its production system has been carefully designed in order to ensure that its products meet the needs of its clients. “We operate a ‘carousel system’ in accordance with UIC 713, which includes stations for preparing, stressing of tendons, casting, curing and demoulding. The tendons are anchored to the concrete by means of end plates. The pre-stressing force acting on the concrete is provided by these end plates, and this is basically one of the healthiest ways of transferring load to the concrete,” he noted, before continuing with more details about the benefits of prefabricated slab tracks compared to ballasted tracks. “Primarily, compared to ballasted tracks, concrete track systems are more maintenance-friendly systems. Especially if you need to achieve speeds of more than 250 km/hour speed slab tracks are inevitable. “A prefab system provides the best finishing quality and very efficient productivity on-site if you compare


Left Production of pre-stressed concrete bearers

it with in situ concrete track solutions. As a trackwork contractor and as a sleeper production company, we have noticed that prefab technology is the future for railway trackwork systems, and we have decided to increase our prefab production capacity.” Volkan used the Istanbul Airport Metro as an example to illustrate the benefits of prefabricated products: “In situ reinforced concrete trackwork solutions were the preferred option in the past. But, for contractors, these required a lot of effort in reinforcing steel and in situ concrete construction inside long and narrow metro tunnels. In addition, the quality of the work was not always satisfactory for operators,” he said. “Instead, we have developed a prefabricated slab track system, and this has transferred much of the workforce into a well-organised workshop rather than on a construction site inside the tunnels. This added lots of quality to the end-product and lots of flexibility to the construction planners. “We have also avoided the usage of steel reinforcement and utilised GFRP bars or macro and micro synthetic fibres, which helped us to create a safe and sound environment for the track in terms of signalling requirements. This has also increased the service life of the track as this solution is corrosion-free.”

Having mentioned the Istanbul Airport Metro, Volkan continued to illustrate YAPIRAY’s expertise with reference to some other significant high profile projects of which the company has been part. “We are now at the launch stage of the Istanbul Airport Metro Connection project. At this phase of the construction, we are handling the mobilisation and we are about to start the production of the slabs in Istanbul. The first challenge was the design calculations and the prototype production with the new moulds. We have given the last shape to the product and it took us about 30 weeks. “We now need to develop the concrete design mix in accordance with the available materials on site. Our quality engineers are about to wrap up their study. In a few weeks, we will say ‘go’ to the production team. “We are also working on mock-ups. This is a ‘learning procedure’ and is helping us a lot prior to the actual application on site. We will soon be faced with logistics, environmental conditions, material supplies and so forth so there are further challenges waiting for us!” There are three other major projects being handled at YAPIRAY – a 400-km double-track high-speed line (HSL) in Turkey; a 400-km single track in Ethiopia; and a 700-km single track in Tanzania. “The Ankara-Sivas HSL will be Turkey’s highest speed railway line with a speed


Above Track laying in Ethiopia


of 300 kmph, and a total single line slab track length of 150 km between Ankara and Sivas. It is constructed as ballasted track at grade sections and on top of viaducts, and as ballastless track (slab track) inside the tunnels. As YAPIRAY, we support two general contractors as sleeper and slab track supplier, and we also support our mother company YAPI MERKEZI, that is one of them, for the trackwork construction. It will hopefully be opened in the second quarter of 2020,” explained Volkan. High speed projects are generally considered challenging and Volkan noted that this particular scheme includes several ground-breaking applications for Turkey such as the country’s first HSL with 300kmph speeds, its first HSL where slab tracks are utilised, and its first HSL with B07 railway sleepers. “These initial requirements inside the country led to lots of different interface problems,” he said. “We have solved these technical topics thanks to our engineering team’s experience on several previous projects. Regarding the design approval tests of the slab tracks, we have collaborated with Istanbul Technical University in addition to international independent laboratories. We’ve needed to design the individual components such as sleepers and slab tracks together with the trackwork superstructures and the transition zones as well.”

Clearly no strangers to a challenge, YAPIRAY is also working on projects in Africa together with YAPI MERKEZI, in Ethiopia and Tanzania. “These locations have very hard environments for greenfield project applications, and the Ethiopia and Tanzania projects are similar in terms of geography and logistics as they are both greenfield inland projects,” said Volkan. “In Ethiopia, we are working on a standard gauge, ballasted track of 400 km, which has a design speed of 120 kmph and an axle load of 22.5 tons. The first phase of the project, which is 270 km single track, is already completed, with testing and commissioning on-going. The second phase of the project has now been 15 per cent completed, and we are targeting to complete all the trackwork at the end of 2020. By the way, we completed all the sleeper production for this project in 2018! “In Tanzania, we are working on a railway line for Heavy Haul (HH, 35 tons of axle load) transport with speeds of 80-120 kmph for freight, and 160kmph for passenger trains. On this project, we are using AREMA standards together with EN and UIC standards, and are now producing HH sleepers in two different factories in Tanzania. This is a two-phase project, with the first phase to be completed by the end of 2020 (the first 300

Yapiray continent’s total economy. We need to work together with our European partners in order to increase the sources to help Africa develop their railway network as much as possible.” Completing the on-going projects referenced by Volkan will be where YAPIRAY is targeting its efforts over the next 12-18 months, however, its long-term target is to become a leading technological solution provider for railway system in the region. “We will also continue to work on trackwork solutions with less carbon footprint,” added Volkan, highlighting the importance of rail as a sustainable and green transportation solution. “Considering the current needs of the world, even if the investment costs are higher than road transportation at the beginning; it is not difficult to foresee that the future of rail transportation is the brightest, as the world seeks ways to transport goods and passengers in an economic, environmental and efficient manner.” Given the experience YAPIRAY can bring to both sophisticated rail-using countries, and those that are now embracing the most technologically advanced solutions, the company is ideally positioned to benefit from all these opportunities in the future.

www.yapiray.com.tr km single line) and the second phase of the project has just started, with the total completion of the line will in 2021, hopefully.” YAPIRAY has confronted multiple challenges in Africa, as Volkan indicated: “Working on-site far away from logistic centres is not easy from all sorts of several perspectives, such as logistics, machinery, raw material supply, customs, procurement, workforce and so on. You first have to establish your camp as almost ‘a new town’ considering all these difficulties mentioned. “These projects also require high levels of technical knowledge from a range of specialities, including the mixed traffic needed for heavy haul freight and passenger trains, single line construction, and the high quality demanded by the client according to international standards such as EN, UIC and AREMA. There are also very tight time schedules for construction, harsh budgetary limits and a high level of demand on RAMS by the client.” This is where YAPIRAY’s experience working in several different environments comes into its own, with the company’s flexible approach meaning that it can adapt to changing demands in terms of economic, social and cultural skills. “We can adjust ourselves according to varying circumstances and we can achieve desirable results in international and multinational railway projects all across the globe,” Volkan confirmed. From speaking to Volkan, he is clearly very proud of YAPIRAY’s work in Africa, and the contribution that the company is making to the continent. “Africa is one of the fastest emerging continents of the world, and constructing new railway lines there is deeply profound, as a railway line is not only important in terms of mass transit but also crucial for the development of the


Conferences and exhibitions Forthcoming Conferences and Exhibitions This listing represents a selection of the events about which we have been notified. It is strongly recommended that direct contact should be made with the individual organiser responsible for each event before booking places or making travel and accommodation reservations. Cancellations and other last-minute alterations are liable to occur. The editor and publishers of RAILWAY STRATEGIES are not responsible for any loss or inconvenience suffered by readers in connection with this guide to events.

28 - 29 January 2020 Transport Ticketing Global Where: Olympia, London, UK Organiser: Clarion Events Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7384 7700 Website: https://www.transport-ticketing.com

10 March 2020 Accelerate Rail Where: London, UK Organiser: Marketforce Live Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7608 3222 Website: https://marketforcelive.com/accelerate/events/ rail-conference/

25 - 26 February 2020 Middle East Rail Where: Dubai, UAE Organiser: Terrapin Telephone: +971 (0)4 440 2501 Website: www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/middle-east-rail/ index.stm 3 - 5 March 2020 IT-TRANS Where: Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre, Germany Organisers: messe karlsruhe / UITP Telephone: 49 (0) 721 3720 5140 Website: https://www.it-trans.org/en/

11 - 12 March 2020 Asia Pacific Rail Where: Hong Kong Organiser: Terrapin Telephone: +65 6322 2726 Website: www.terrapinn.com/exhibition/asia-pacific-rail/ index.stm 17 - 19 March 2020 Smart Transit Where: Boston, USA Organiser: SmartRail World Telephone: +44 (0)203 873 0260 Website: www.smartrailworld.com/events/smart-transit

17 – 19 March 2020 Intermodal Asia 2020 Where: Shanghai, China Organiser: Informa Exhibitions Telephone: +44 (0)20 7017 6986 Website: www.intermodal-asia.com/en/home.html 2 April 2020 Rail Freight Group Conference Where: London, UK Organiser: Waterfront Conference Company Telephone: +44 (0)207 067 1597 Website: https://www.waterfrontconferencecompany.com/ conferences/rail-freight-group-conference 21 – 22 April 2020 RailTech Track Access Charges Summit 2020 Where: Riga, Latvia Organiser: RailTech.com Telephone: +31 30 698 1800 Website: https://events.railtech.com/track-accesscharges-summit-2020/

Institute of Mechanical Engineers Training Courses Technical training for the railway industry A listing of courses currently available from the IMechE 25th February, 2020 (London) Introduction to UK traction and rolling stock IMechE has developed this workshop to give a basic understanding of the role of traction and rolling stock within the context of railway systems as a whole. 26th February, 2020 (London) Modern traction and braking systems This workshop has been developed with SNC-Lavalin Rail to give a general introduction to traction and braking systems on trains. 24th March, 2020 (London) Authorising rail vehicles and managing change: current processes IMechE has developed this workshop to equip attendees with a basic understanding of vehicle acceptance procedures in modern railway fleet.

1-2 April, 2020 (London) Vehicle dynamics and vehicle-track interaction Understand the dynamics of railway vehicles to improve safety, comfort and asset life. 20th April, 2020 (London) Train control and safety systems This course allows you to understand and participate in projects that deal with control and safety systems - vital skills for experienced and aspiring railway engineers.

21st April, 2020 (London) Introduction to UK railway framework All rail companies and stakeholders are required to meet specific requirements and this course provides an understanding of the framework which they work under. 29th April, 2020 (London) Structure of railway vehicles: fatigue, crashworthiness and fire This course approaches the methods, techniques and tools used within structural integrity, fire and crashworthiness, with a focus on rail vehicle design and maintenance. 9th June, 2020 (London) Maintaining railway fleet: introduction This workshop has been developed to equip you with a basic understanding of fleet maintenance regimes and processes.

For more information Tel: + 44 (0)20 7304 6907 Email: training@imeche.org Web: https://www.imeche.org/training-qualifications


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